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SBD Global/January 12, 2017/Franchises

Franchise Notes: Jersey Reds Hopes To Buy Back Ground Within Three Years

Rugby Football Union Championship side Jersey Reds Chair Mark Morgan "hopes the club will be able to buy back" its "ground within three years." The club was forced to sell its assets for £1.5M in November "in order to see out the season." Jersey hopes to sell a plot of land that it owns for £750,000 ($915,000) "within the next few months to halve" its target. Morgan said, "It is a huge amount of money, but we've got a very large support base and sponsor base and a lot of people that really want to help. So when you think about that as £250,000 ($305,000) a year for three years, it should be achievable." The club is one of three Championship clubs to have had "financial difficulties" this season. London Welsh went into liquidation in December, while Cornish Pirates was forced to change owners in September "in order to survive" (BBC, 1/11).

Championship rugby side Bradford is "bracing" for "more player departures as efforts continue to re-launch the four-time Super League champions." Hopes remain that one of the four bids to form a new company to run a Bradford team in the 2017 Championship will be successful but plans for a fundraising match at Batley on Sunday have "been scrapped because they may not have enough players." Batley CEO Paul Harrison said, "The match was sanctioned by the RFL but some more players are leaving Bradford and they are struggling to raise a team." Sunday's friendly had been arranged "long before the Bradford club went bust," rendering all 31 players free agents, but it was "hoped it could still go ahead with players still loyal to the club." There have been seven confirmed departures from the Bulls following the decision of administrators to liquidate the club. Batley "pledged to share the gate receipts with the Bradford players and staff after they missed their December wages" because the club was "in administration and problems over insurance were resolved" (PA, 1/11).

Real Madrid's James Rodríguez was the subject of a "massive bid" by Chinese Super League side Hebei China Fortune two weeks ago. The Colombian was "quick to nip any possibility of a move to the Far East in the bud" -- even though he would have earned "ten times his current salary." It is understood that the 25-year-old, who is on a €3.5M ($3.7M)-per-year salary "at the Bernabéu," would have "pocketed" an annual €30M ($31.7M) at the CSL "outfit" (AS, 1/11).

The FA charged Man City in relation to the organization's rules on anti-doping. The matter refers to rules concerning "club whereabouts" and does not concern player misconduct. It is understood that Man City is "charged in relation to the whereabouts of junior and senior players and includes alleged changes to training schedules" (SKY SPORTS, 1/11).
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